130 youths trained in various aspects of Agricultural enterprises are to be empowered by the Bank of |Agriculture in collaboration with the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs.
The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs. Mrs. Fatima Bamidele made the disclosure in Abuja at the occasion of the signing of the agreement with the Bank of Agriculture to implement the project.
In her remarks at the event, Mrs. Bamidele, said that the process towards the actualization of the project commenced since her assumption for duty in the Ministry last year but was glad that the project had become a reality.
The Permanent Secretary said that the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs signed the agreement with the Bank of Agriculture to empower the 130 Niger Delta Youths the Ministry trained in various aspects of Agriculture last year in Israel.
The Permanent Secretary said that the aim of the collaboration was to ensure that the youths who were sent to Israel for training in various aspects of Agriculture were empowered to start their own businesses.
She added that with this agreement the issue of waiting for allocation from the Federal Government to the Ministry to empower trained youths of the Niger Delta would be a thing of the past.
Mrs. Bamidele disclosed that more loans would be given out to other beneficiaries in the Niger Delta Region when the first batch of beneficiaries pay the loans.
She said that while the Bank of Agriculture and the Nigerian Agricultural Insurance Corporation would administer the loans and give technical support the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs would monitor the implementation process.
She commended the Bank of Agriculture on its commitment to the success of the project.
She advised the beneficiaries to utilize the facility optimally so that other youths can benefit from the programme in future.
Mr. Babatunde Igun, the Executive Director, Wholesale Finance, Bank of Agriculture who represented the Managing Director of the Bank said, the bank was glad and excited to be part of the epoch making event.
Mr. Igun assured that the Bank was prepared and positioned to play its role as the official risk manager for the various projects. He added that the bank would also provide free risk management advice through proper monitoring and control of the project.
He also said that all beneficiaries of this scheme were expected to insure their agricultural projects to enjoy the benefit of the services to be provided by the Nigerian Agricultural Insurance Corporation.
In his remarks, the representative of the Managing Director/CEO of Nigerian Agricultural Insurance Corporation, Mr. Kunle Olagunju, Head of Collaboration Unit, said that the organization would play its role by protecting the interest of the parties involved in the agreement for partnership against unexpected risks.
He added that his organization would see to the successful payment of the loans by the beneficiaries.
In her remarks, Mrs. Bose Eitokpah, the Capacity Building Manager of Partnership Initiative in the Niger Delta, an NGO expressed joy over the partnership in the project as it is beneficial to the youths of the Niger Delta, especially the woman.
Speaking earlier, the Director of Economic Empowerment in the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs, Mr. Ndubuisi Osuji said that the collaboration project with the Bank of Agriculture would empower the youths to know how to catch fish instead of being given fish all the time by somebody.
The 130 Niger Delta Youths were trained by the Ministry in Israel last year on Fishery and Poultry Production.
Stephen T. Kilebi